Latin America (LATAM) is the second fastest-growing mobile market in the world (after Asia-Pacific.) According to eMarketer, Latin America's advertising market is increasingly becoming mobile-first, thanks to factors like investment in digital infrastructure, improved mobile internet access, less-expensive data plans, and smartphone adoption. The same report states that in 2019, mobile’s share of digital ad spending accounted for nearly two-thirds of digital investments. And, the LATAM app market is poised to continue to grow at an incredible rate over the next few years. According to AppsFlyer’s Global App Install Ad Spend report, “app install ad spend [in LATAM] will remain robust at over 30% year-over-year growth through 2022 to reach almost $7 billion.” For companies in the ad tech space, this makes LATAM a ripe area for investment in strategic mobile app partnerships.
LATAM mobile marketers believe a strong foundation of trust is critical to building successful media partnerships. But more than just trust, LATAM marketers also want their perspectives, challenges and ideas recognized. MoPub had the opportunity to sit down with two brilliant Brazilian gaming marketers: Simon Gamboa, former Head of User Acquisition at Tapps Games (Tapps) and Henrique Prado, User Acquisition Lead at Fanatee who divulged what it’s really like to be successful as a mobile app developer in LATAM. See below for an overview of the key topics we discuss in part one, as well as a link to the full interview.
7:17-9:13: Logical Progression of UA Channels
9:25-11:31: Brazilian Challenges: Talent & Taxes
12:19-13:31: Importance of Relationships
13:31-14:09: Advice to Partners
14:29-17:49: Transparency is Key
17:49-19:00: Partners need to understand our goals/needs
21:07-25:07: The Brazilian Community & Importance of Local Events
25:12-27:25: Advice to fellow Brazilian Marketers!
App marketers across the globe are constantly facing challenges: combating fraud, adhering to ever-changing user protection and ad targeting policies, and finding cost-effective ways to scale, to name just a few. Brazilian marketers must deal with those same obstacles, but they also have to deal with several others that are unique to their market.
The biggest of these unique challenges is maintaining profitability when the Brazilian government tax is so high. Every purchase made to a company outside of Brazil is taxed 50%+. Simon shares, “We are already struggling to get return of our ad spend...imagine on top of that, we need to recover +50%!” This means it’s very difficult for a Brazilian marketer to find strong results with ad networks and DSPs based outside of Brazil. Simon adds that it also “adds up to the monopoly that Search & Social have because they have local entities.”
Challenges aside, Brazilian marketers — and LATAM marketers as a whole — are determined to make their user acquisition (UA) campaigns successful. This requires constantly testing (new ideas, new partners) and strategically investing in new channels like programmatic.
At Fanatee, Henrique says his team has approached the channels they’re tapping for user acquisition in a “logical progression”. Initially, they started buying on search and social only because it’s “easier” and “a lower barrier to entry.” Today, they’re focused on expanding into programmatic advertising because they’re acutely aware of “the opportunity for growth.”
Simon adds, “[programmatic] is the new thing...it’s where [LATAM marketers] all want to be but not all of us are. We understand the potential, but we need to be ready to know how to handle it, how to understand it, and how to scale.”
For demand-side platforms (DSPs) who understand this opportunity — namely, LATAM marketers being ready and willing to buy through programmatic — it’s still important to recognize the differences in culture which affect the way business is conducted. In Brazil, for example, strong relationships are the foundation to successful business partnerships. As Henrique puts it, “As Brazilians, we crave relationships. Companies are starting to realize that and are starting to build those relationships through events, coming to our offices, understanding our culture…We take our time to approve partners and figure out who we want to work with.”
Simon agrees and adds, “If you really want to do business with us, please take the time to understand our challenges, and why are we doing things the way we do… When [a partner really shows] Latin America is important to them, that’s almost half the way in.” What’s more, successful relationships are built on trust, and trust is earned. Simon notes that transparency and honesty from partners is key. “We need to have access to why decisions are being made, and the results of those decisions.”
Tune into Part I of our interview to hear more about the fascinating life of a mobile marketer in LATAM, directly from Simon and Henrique. In Part II (which will be available on our channels soon), we’ll be discussing the best strategies to effectively reach and acquire users in LATAM. In the meantime, as always, reach out to our team if you’re interested in working with us!
Julia has been in the digital advertising industry for 10+ years, working on both the supply and demand sides of the business. At MoPub, she's currently focused on helping top mobile app marketers develop & refine their programmatic user acquisition strategies to achieve optimal scale and success. She lives in sunny LA with her husband, goldendoodle and two young (& very vivacious) kiddos. You can find Julia on Twitter at @JuliaLovesApps.